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Fundamental rights - Sweden


The fundamental laws and the Instrument of Government

People in Sweden have their rights and freedoms protected primarily by three fundamental laws: the Instrument of Government (regeringsformen), the Freedom of the Press Act (tryckfrihetsförordningen) and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen). The Instrument of Government states that administrative power must be exercised with respect for the equality of all people and the freedom and dignity of the individual.

Independence of the judiciary and judicial review

The independence of the judiciary is guaranteed in the Instrument of Government. The courts play a key role in protecting individuals’ rights. The legal remedies available in the Swedish legal system are designed to protect fundamental rights. Legal proceedings are usually decided by ordinary courts and general administrative courts, and in some cases by administrative authorities. Which court handles a case relating to fundamental rights will depend on various factors, such as the right that has been infringed and the context in which this occurred. Whether it is a private or a public body that has infringed the right can also affect which court hears the case.

Click here for more information about the Swedish legal system.

Help or information from the authorities

There are a number of authorities in Sweden charged with helping to ensure respect for fundamental rights in different ways. These authorities have different tasks. Some simply provide information about rights in their area, for example, while others can offer legal assistance in an individual case.

You can search for authorities using the Fundamental Rights Interactive Tool.


The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Last update: 18/05/2018